The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Thierry Zaboitzeff Ciné-concert clip version.
Recorded in Das Kino (Salzburg Biennale 2011)
by explosive egg.
Film: Robert Wiene
Composition & live music: Thierry Zaboitzeff
Sound: Robert Lorenz
comissioned by somnambule.brotfabrik.com/
The story is divided into 6 acts. In a travelling fair of the 1830s Dr Caligari is exhibiting Cesare, a sleepwalker. Cesare predicts that Alan, a student in the crowd, will not live past dawn the next day. When Alan is indeed found murdered in his bed the next morning, his friend Francis suspects Caligari of the crime. Cesare next abducts the girl Francis has been courting, but when the local townspeople give chase he abandons her and collapses. Francis pursues Caligari, who takes refuge in a lunatic asylum. Caligari is revealed to be the director of the asylum, while Francis and the girl are in fact his patients.
About the movie
The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, about which more has been written probably than any other film, blends fantasy, romanticism, medieval stories and philosophic fable into a story of mind-control, murder, and insanity. Its painted backgrounds, sets and costumes were in the style of the Der Sturm expressionist group, which included the painters Röhrig and Reimann and the designer Hermann Warm, all three of whom contributed to the art direction of the film. It is in many respects still filmed theater, a series of tableaux or "living drawings" (Der Sturm). In the ongoing controversy over definitions of German Expressionist Cinema, Caligari has long been the key work by which other films have been measured. For some critics, however, it can only be considered a precursor of "expressionism" in cinema, even German cinema; rather it is the instigator of a much narrower cinematic style, its own "Caligarism."
After recording live music between 1989 and 1996 with his band Art Zoyd for the films Nosferatu (Murnau), Faust (Murnau) and Hâxan (Christensen), fifteen years later Thierry Zaboitzeff once again sets off to tackle a new project.
This time he is alone on the stage, surrounded by a complete arsenal of high-tech equipment yet including his favourite instruments: cello, bass, percussion, guitar and his voice.
In the midst of this forest of instruments, cables and electronics, Zaboitzeff sees himself not only as a puppet master, sound artist and creator of soothing sound spaces, but as a composer in the more traditional manner, who understands how to deliver to us reference points and recognizable themes out of a film and sound delirium.
His music unfurls like an opera score, in a precise, complex-free poetry and joins together in a completely natural way with the electronic rock sound which Thierry Zaboitzeff has been developing for years.
At times the actors seem to step out of the screen and mingle with the live musician, to tell us their story, to tell us stories … because this music pierces through many layers and so leads us into Dr. Caligari’s cabinet, the inevitable benchmark of German Expressionist cinema.
Directed: Robert Wiene, 1919, prod co: Decla-Bioshop, prod: Erich Pommer, assoc prod: Rudolf Melnert
sc: Carl Meyer, Hans Janowitz, from a story by Hans Janowitz, photo: Willy Hameister, art dir: Hermann Warm, Walter Rohrig, Walter Reimann, cost: Walter Reimann, length: 4682 ft (approx. 78 minutes)
German title: Das Kabinett des Dr Caligari, GB title: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari.
Werner Krauss (Dr Caligari) ,Conrad Veidt (Cesare), Friedrich Feher (Francis), Lil Dagover (Jane), Hans H. von Twardowski (Alan), Rudolf Lettinger (Dr Olsen), Rudolf Klein-Rogge (captured murderer)